Distinguished Alumni Award

Photo of Rachel Webb, Health Science graduate

Rachel Webb
2012 Inspirational Alumni Award Recipient
Class of 2010, AS Health Science

It has always been my dream to become a registered nurse. I love helping others feel good and believe that I am a natural caretaker. For quite some time, though, my dream of becoming a nurse seemed distant and unattainable.

For 17 years, I spent my life as a stay-at-home mom. I worked tirelessly to home school my children, tend to a livestock and vegetable farm, and create the “perfect” family. At first, running a farm and home schooling my children brought a sense of wholesomeness into my home life, but ultimately, these became things that everyone expected of me, and it seemed as if everything I did never turned out to be good enough for anyone.

Eventually, the days of growing and canning vegetables, dressing chickens and venison, sewing my children’s clothes, teaching academics and keeping a positive attitude through it all started to wear on me. We also had no health insurance, so I was forced to grow herbs and rely on herbal remedies and homeopathic medicine. I began to resent compliments because inside, I felt like a prisoner. I had no outside support and no family to call upon for help. My mother passed away when I was only 8-years-old and my father was just simply unavailable. I felt trapped.

In May of 2008, I mustered up the courage to make some life altering changes not only for myself, but for my children as well. I visited the Goodwin University campus and immediately fell in love with The University. Everyone was extremely helpful and genuine. I worked with an admissions counselor to get started and she did everything she could to get me enrolled and on my way.

In addition to other personal stresses, I suffered from a nasty and abusive relationship with my husband during my time at Goodwin. He asked me to quit school and get a job making minimum wage. It all began to get the best of me, and I almost gave up until I realized that Goodwin was the only support that I had. It was a safe place for me both physically and mentally. I knew that I had to keep going because for the first time in a long time, Goodwin made me feel like I could just be myself, and I finally started to feel like I was good enough.

Goodwin helped me discover what healthy relationships and true appreciation is all about. In 2010, I graduated with my Associate in Health Science, and am now on my way to earning an Associate in Nursing. I am finally going to be able to fulfill my dream.

I have served as a peer tutor, a student ambassador, a student speaker, a student representative, a member of the Alumni Leadership Committee, president of the National Honors Society, and have volunteered at many campus events. I enjoy encouraging others because I know that the pain of rejection is the worst pain of all.

"Goodwin gives hope to the hopeless and helps those who are in need. I give back to Goodwin University not because I want a return, but because it is the little twigs that keep the fire going. That fire brought me out of the cold and gave me knowledge, skills and most importantly, strength."

The faculty, staff and administration at Goodwin have been my biggest encouragement, very much like the mother I never had. Goodwin has changed my life and given me the chance to be free. I hope my kids one day say to me what I have to say to Goodwin University, "When I grow up, I want to be just like you."